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Friday, November 19, 2010

F/T (temporary) - Outreach and Public Services Archivist - Brooklyn Historical Society

The Brooklyn Historical Society Othmer Library in Brooklyn, NY seeks an enthusiastic, skilled candidate for a temporary appointment, grant-funded position of Outreach and Public Services Archivist. The successful candidate will report to the Director of Library and Archives.

Primary responsibilities:

The Outreach and Public Services Archivist will play a key role in the three-year project Students and Faculty in the Archives: Cultural Organizations, Colleges, and Critical Thinking, a project of the Brooklyn Historical Society working in conjunction with college faculty to build a pedagogical model for the use of historical archives by students, with the goal of building their research and critical thinking skills, leading them to greater success in their first year of college. The project will engage undergraduate students in research with archival and special collections in curriculum exploring Brooklyn’s 19th-century history and issues of slavery, abolitionism, and the American Civil War. The project is an extension of In Pursuit of Freedom, a collaborative project currently underway to tell the story of abolitionism and the Underground Railroad in Brooklyn.

The successful candidate will coordinate with and facilitate communication among all project participants at BHS and participating colleges; provide instructional services, reference and research support for project faculty and students; participate in faculty summer institute and assist faculty in identifying relevant collections for their curriculum planning; facilitate use of collections in student websites and exhibits; and generally be expected to cultivate a forward-looking, collaborative environment and maintain high user-centered service standards for the project.

In addition and in support of the library’s larger mission, the archivist will provide reference assistance in person and via mail, phone, fax, and email; provide a range of public services including teaching workshops, bibliographic instruction, and leading tours for the various constituencies that BHS serves; and participate in other projects to enhance and promote access to the Library’s special collections and facilitate the use of collections by a varied and growing number of users in an active and evolving library, archives, and special collections.

Required Qualifications:

· Masters in Library and Information Science or History, or equivalent degree, with a specialization in archival studies or special collections.

· A minimum of two years of professional experience in archives or special collections, including reference and bibliographic instruction and/or teaching; familiarity with trends and usage of special collections.

· Strong planning, time management and supervisory skills. Evidence of initiative and creativity in problem solving. Ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and with a sense of humor in a changing environment.

· Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing; comfort with public speaking.

· Demonstrated ability to work well with a diverse range of constituents and otherwise get along with colleagues, faculty, students, visiting scholars, and the public.

· Ability to use IT applications in an archives and/or library environment, including imaging technology, databases, content management systems, and a working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite.

· Occasional evening or weekend availability.

· The capability to supervise students and volunteers. The ability to lift boxes of materials weighing 40 lbs and to climb a ladder and bend over to retrieve materials.

Preferred Qualifications:

· Masters degree in history. A working knowledge of U. S. history is needed; knowledge of 19th-century Brooklyn or New York history is strongly preferred.

· Experience providing training in technical areas; interest in emerging technologies.

· Teaching experience or demonstrated knowledge of pedagogy and instructional design.

· Experience creating exhibits or supporting exhibition staff.

· Demonstrated engagement with the profession through conference attendance and presentations, publication, and/or involvement with professional organizations.


Mid- to high- forties, dependant upon qualifications and experience; benefits include medical and dental coverage and support for professional development. Grant funded for a term of three years.

To Apply:

Please send resume, cover letter, and name and contact information for three references to Chela Scott Weber, Director of Library and Archives, at Subject line of the email should read: Outreach Archivist Application [your last name]. No phone inquiries, please.

The position is available beginning January 1, 2011

The Brooklyn Historical Society is dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, the presence of any mental, physical, or sensory disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law.

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